Father and Son Relationship

"My job is to take care of you. I was appointed to do that by God. I will kill anyone who touches you. Do you understand?"
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Things the boy needs

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He pulled the boy closer. "Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that."
"You forget some things, don't you?"
"Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget."

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"What would you do if I died?
"If you died I would want to die too."
"So you could be with me?"
"Yes. So I could be with you."

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"Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal
light, shuffling through the ash, each the other's world entire."

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We should talk about how the father is kinda like an omniscient figure. I’m not dictating to you William; I SOUND SO…(sigh). William’s typing everything I say. OK, so, now that we’ve got that covered; ummm… what do you think?

Well Allison, I believe the father represents a teacher and protector figure for the boy. He obviously is in charge of foraging and shelter building, and to this end he aids and educates the boy, leaving him prepared for a time when the father can no longer be around.

Allison: OK (sigh) I think that while that is a valid point William, are we gonna type this? That the father is more of a figure of comfort and knowledge for the boy rather than focusing on the physical aspect of survival.

William: WRONG!
Allison: Let’s continue this: besides you saying “wrong”, what else do you think?

William: Sure, the dad obviously comforts and reassures the boy after traumatic events, and even their bleak existence, but eventually the boy developes the necessary mental calluses to protect himself psychologically, as evidenced by seeing the corpses of the refuges killed in the …
Allison: What does “Colossus” mean? So I can respond and know what I'm talking about.
William: That’s “Calluses”.
Allison: I agree with you that the father protects himself psychologically so that he can protect the boy, what? (giggles) I think that he does provide a physical protecting protectance to the boy, I just feel like he provides more of a psychological comfort to him as an omniscient figure in the book. What about their interactions? Guys, you aren’t doing it?!
Allison: William no matter what you say the father is a better psychological helper to the boy than he is a physical one!

but anyways.... don't you think that the boy treats the Dad with respect almost like he's afraid of what's gonna happen if he doesn't and he always takes EVERYTHING that he says as the absolute truth! Its kind of like he's brainwashed to believe everything his dad says!

William: Well, in that case Allison, his actions are detrimental to the boy's psychological health. If the boy is brainwashed and fearful of his dad, how comforting is that? Besides, with out the father there, throughout the majority of the book the child is helpless and would soon die of starvation or be eaten by cannibals. Yes, the father is crucial in providing a human contact for the boy, but it is a moot point when you can't eat.
Allison: I think the boy would have found someone else to travel with but the Father is crucial because it's his father its a special bond.

-Would the father have acted different without the Son? How so?
-How would the relationship be different if the mom was still alive?